Plymouth’s Best Soups

Local soups and chili to stave off winter chills.
An authentic diner delicacy: Dufner's famous cheeseburger soup with saltine crackers.

There’s a reason soup makes an appearance in some of the most famous children’s tales—from Stone Soup to Where the Wild Things Are. The dish offers the familiarity and nourishment that everyone craves from time to time, and never are those cravings more coercive than during the frigid month of January. That craving might come at lunchtime, in which case we’ve got the scoop on a couple of great soup and sandwich combos. If it comes when you’re feeling under the weather, we’ve also got cold-curing soups perfect for takeout.


Cheeseburger Soup

Dufner’s Deli

Dufner’s offers three soups daily from a repertoire of more than 60 recipes. The cheeseburger soup, a house favorite, is a cheesy concoction filled with chunks of ground beef and little bit of a jalapeno ($3.49/12-oz. bowl or $7.50/qt.). Other popular soups include clam chowder, offered on Fridays; wild rice with ham, available Tuesdays; and a hamburger chili with chunky vegetables, beans and a little bit of spice, back on the menu since October. Everything is made from scratch at this family-owned operation, including the stocks for the soup, the freshly sliced meats for sandwiches and the mashed potatoes. Every day there is a soup and sandwich special that runs between $6.99 and $7.49 for a soup of the day and a whole sandwich. 3900 Vinewood Ln. N.; 763.553.9375


Kao Lound

Ketsana’s Thai

You’re might be familiar with tom kha, a spicy coconut soup, and tom yum, a hot and sour Thai soup, which are staples on the menus of many Thai restaurants. If you’d like to venture out with something less familiar, make it the kao lound ($8.95) at Ketsana’s Thai, which you’ll find among the “other Thai entrees” at the bottom of the menu. This soup features sweet, sour and spicy flavors, with beef broth, bean sprouts, thin slices of beef, beef meatballs, green onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice and ginger. The soup comes with white rice and is big enough to be a meal, as are most of the six soups at Ketsana’s. All dishes can be ordered to your preferred level of spiciness. 16605 County Rd. 24; 763.559.0695


Matzo Ball Soup

Mort’s Delicatessen

It’s hard to pass up the matzo ball soup on a visit to Mort’s Delicatessen—it’s the backbone of the soup menu ($3.50/cup or $8.99/bowl) and every Jewish grandmother’s cure for the common cold. Mort’s version has gained prominence through a matzo ball-eating contest that is held at the restaurant every spring. Three other soups also are always available—the beef borscht, tomato basil and chicken wild rice—and beer cheese soup and chili are commonly featured as specials. All soups are made from scratch daily using family recipes. 525 Winnetka Ave. N., Golden Valley; 763.544.2900


Beef Stew

Cowboy Jack’s

The beef stew ($4) at Cowboy Jack’s is hearty and robust, with slow-cooked braised beef, winter vegetables like carrots, corn and potatoes, hints of rosemary, thyme and garlic, and a richness thanks to the inclusion of Guinness in the recipe. The dish is satisfying enough that it could almost be a meal unto itself. Otherwise, pair it with an order of the cornbread skillet ($7), served with cinnamon honey butter and big enough to share. Chef Michael DeMarco also comes up with homemade soups of the day ($4) that are fitting to the “country comfort” theme of the menu, like roasted red pepper, tomato bisque, broccoli cheese, butternut squash and chicken noodle. 4120 Berkshire Ln. N.; 763.559.0257;


Minnesota Chicken Wild Rice

Erbert and Gerbert’s

There are six soups among the pickings at Erbert and Gerbert’s each day, and the Minnesota chicken wild rice leads the pack in popularity. Other soups you might see include a home-style beef chili, Wisconsin beer cheese, broccoli cheddar and a Southwest blanco chicken chili. All soups are $2.59 for a cup or $3.59 for a bowl. “Group soups” can set you up well for a lunch meeting, as the 32-oz. portion comes with four cups, spoons and a ladle ($10.99). All soups come with a bread roll, and can be ordered as part of a cup of soup and half sandwich combo for $3.49. 10160 6th Ave. N.; 763.559.7400


Fire-roasted Tomato Soup


A soup needn’t have meat in it to be hearty. The fire-roasted tomato soup at Bruegger’s is packed with flavor, made with chunks of roasted tomato that have been simmered with onions, celery and carrots ($2.99/cup, $4.29/bowl and $10.99/qt.). Another option that vegetarians will rave about is the butternut squash made with a blend of squash, onion and apples, and finished in a vegetable broth with a dash of cream. Bruegger’s offers two soup selections daily in addition the chicken spaetzle, a twist on the classic chicken dumpling that is always available. 4000 Annapolis Ln. N.; 763.553.9893


Tortilla Soup

El Azteca

Two Latin-inspired soups are available at El Azteca, the tortilla soup ($5.75) with chicken vegetables and tortilla strips on the side, along with the vegetarian fiveo ($2.75), a tomato-based soup with noodles. Try one of them with the popular fajitas or a chimichanga. 3500 Vicksburg Ln. N.; 763.550.1570